Day 1 Takakkaw Falls Parking Lot to Yoho Lake Campground, 4.6 km 350 m elevation gain, 60 m elevation loss, 1hr 25min.
I was back at school preparing for the the new school year which would look a lot different due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic. This made for a late get-a-way from town as I could not leave until 3:30 pm. I was not concerned with the late start as we only had a 4.5 km day ahead of us which would give us plenty of light at the campground to set up and have dinner. As it turned out we were not the last people to arrive at camp.
There are two parking lots to choose from to start the hike. The one closest to the trail leading to Yoho Lake I feel is intended for day hiking and the close by HI Whiskey Jack Hostel but I doubt anyone would kick up a fuss if you parked there. Every trail description I read on the Yoho NP website said to park at the Takakkaw Falls Parking. I was happy to park at the more distant parking lot mainly because it would put the road walk on the first day and allow the last day to be that little shorter and I really did not want to our final memory of the hike to be walking down a busy road.
We got started at 5:19 pm which was a little later than I had hoped for. The road walk to the trail head was just under 1 km and took us 12 minutes. There were a couple of cars in the parking lot as we headed onto the trail. We cut across a small meadow by the hostel before heading into the forest and heading up. We would gain the bulk of the elevation for the day over the next 1.2 km. The trail went up moderately at first and thankfully when the hillside got steeper we passed through a series of switchbacks which kept the grade manageable. While we were eager to get to the campsite we did stop to enjoy the views of Takakkaw Falls from the trail. We arrived at the junction with the Iceline trail after 40 minutes a distance of 2 km from the car. We headed left to Yoho Lake.
The trail quickly levelled off putting most of the elevation gain behind us. We passed by Hidden Lake. Hidden Lake is well named as it was very difficult to see through the trees. A little dip in the trail brought us to Yoho Lake but the campground was at the far end. We passed by our first hikers heading out to the trail head there were a determined looking bunch. We arrived at the campground at 6:41 pm with lots of time to set up the tent, have dinner and enjoy the campground.
We had a couple of choices of campsite and picked one that was fairly out in the open. It was a very small campground and a short walk to the eating area. We had our tent set up and were making dinner by 7:15 pm.
After dinner we explored along the lake. Took some photos of the reflections in the lake. Siobhan chased a Whiskey Jack with the camera trying to get a good shot in the fading light. Before heading to bed we took the opportunity to enjoy the Red Chairs of Parks Canada. We headed in to the tent as darkness settled over the campsite. Just as we were settling down a couple of women arrived in camp. We would meet up with them again on day at Twin Falls CG and they had some stories to share.